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Plastic Surgery and Self-Esteem

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Plastic Surgery and Self-Esteem
June 17
09:25 2016
Plastic Surgery and Self-Esteem

Plastic Surgery and Self-Esteem


Article Highlights

  • Women who are experiencing psychological difficulties at the time they seek out cosmetic surgery may not feel satisfied afterwards, and in some cases may feel worse
  • cosmetic surgery can be a very positive change for women
  • If a plan is not discussed in detail ahead of time, it could result in the partner feeling resentful at being blindsided by more responsibilities at home

Plastic surgery is not just a medical decision. Psychological factors like body dissatisfaction can play an important role. If body image was an issue for you before pregnancy, there is a chance it may persist afterwards, considering your physical appearance goes through even more immense changes.

“Women who are experiencing psychological difficulties at the time they seek out cosmetic surgery may not feel satisfied afterwards, and in some cases may feel worse,” said Amanda Beaman, a psychologist at CBT Associates in Toronto.

However, Beaman noted that women might experience improved self-esteem after having plastic surgery. She noted that it’s important for an individual to be carefully screened prior to surgery to ensure they are an appropriate candidate and rule out any underlying issues.

“In general, cosmetic surgery can be a very positive change for women, however the best results are likely to be achieved when individuals are carefully assessed ahead of time.” said Dr. Hugh McLean, a plastic surgeon at McLean Clinic in Mississauga on this and the importance of the patient discussing their aims with their family doctor first.

Plastic Surgery and Self-Esteem

Plastic Surgery and Self-Esteem

“While we are concerned about assuring that the candidate is someone who is likely to get a good result from surgery, we also require all surgical candidates to be screened by their family doctor to make sure there are no medical or psychological contraindications to surgery,” said Dr. McLean.

Aside from careful evaluation of the woman herself, the effect(s) her plastic surgery might have on her partner and children should also be considered. Household duties that she was typically responsible for might end up on her partner’s to-do list during recovery.

“If a plan is not discussed in detail ahead of time, it could result in the partner feeling resentful at being blindsided by more responsibilities at home,” Beaman elaborated. One such responsibility is the children, who may also be affected by their mother’s recovery.

“Children may become sad, angry or worried if they do not understand why their mother isn’t spending as much time with them, doing the same things for them that she used to or appears to be in pain,” Beaman said.

Plastic Surgery and Self-Esteem

Plastic Surgery and Self-Esteem

Beaman encourages mothers to consider all options before considering plastic surgery, in case deeper issues are present. For example, if a woman’s concern is weight gain, she could see a dietitian or personal trainer, or maybe even a psychologist who could identify eating disorders or any unhealthy eating behaviours. Similarly, Dr. Alexander Golger, a plastic surgeon at Avenue Plastic Surgery in Toronto, emphasized the importance of gathering information about plastic surgery from reliable sources.

“A lot of people nowadays refer to the Internet for their education. I just find that creates a lot of controversy. There are a lot of opinions and a lot of personal experiences.” While the Internet can provide knowledge, Dr. Golger said a patient’s most trusted source of information is their surgeon. “The person they choose to work with, they should rely on that person’s information.”

The road from pregnancy to motherhood is filled with ups and downs. Feeling confident and comfortable in your skin after giving birth is something that may not happen instantly, or for some women, ever.

For many reasons that can range from medical to psychological, enhancing or restoring your pre-baby body is a decision that should not be rushed or made on a whim. It is a personal choice that should leave you feeling like the best version of yourself, not just as an individual, but as a mother too.


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